Metered taxi drivers call for banning of Uber South Africa

Editor's note: The blockade has since ended and the highways have reopened. For an updated story click here.

A group of metered taxi drivers blocked the R24 to OR Tambo International Airport this morning protesting against online transportation network company, Uber.

The drivers used their vehicles to block the road leading to the airport causing a huge delay and leading to some passengers missing their flights.

EWN reporter, Mia Lindeque says about 300 metered taxi drivers gathered at the cargo area of the airport saying they were waiting for someone from government to come and address them.

The protestors claimed they had handed a memorandum to Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Dr Ismail Vadi, asking him to look into the matter. They want Uber to be regulated or be banned in South Africa.

Mia Lindeque, EWN reporter

They are saying Vadi asked for an extension. Again yesterday they are saying he asked for another extension as his office is busy with other transport issues.

Mia Lindeque, EWN reporter

According to Lindeque, the drivers were very upset saying this was not the first time they had approached the MEC with the same problem.

Spokesperson for Gauteng Traffic Police, Busaphi Nxumalo, says they were not aware that the metered taxi drivers were planning to block the roads this morning.

She says they have deployed traffic officers at OR Tambo to ensure that there is no violence.

We were taken by surprise. We were not informed of the incident that took place this morning. No one has the right to block the roads.

Busaphi Nxumalo, Spokesperson for Gauteng Traffic Police

A group of Uber drivers are also protesting outside its headquarters complaining that they are not properly protected by the company.

EWN reporter, Victor Magwedze says the Uber drivers are allowing police handle the negotiations fo Uber management to meet with the drivers.

He says there is armed security at the Uber offices.

New technologies have become available far faster and more affordably than before.

As society evolves, customer problems change and very large established bodies are struggling to keep up with the change, notes Pavlo Phitidis, CEO of Aurik Business Incubator.

Commenting on the stand-off between Uber drivers and the meter taxi drivers, Pavlo says there is nothing stopping the meter taxi drivers and company from reinventing themselves to suit the needs of their customers.

To hear more on the taxi strikes, please listen below:

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